Quote:>> I understand that this does have a number of advantages (more stable and
>> 'standarised' systems), but -in the linux-world- the distributions
>> are one of the main areas where there is a lot of competition.
> To me that simply means there is no competition in the kernel.
I think competition plays at another level that it does at for
For kernel developement, this is the general scenario on how things work.
I take the example of linux-for-DECstations
(http://decstation.unix-ag.org/) as that is one I followed passively
-I have some left-over MIPS decstations I can use and yes, I know you can
run netbsd and openbsd on them (I 've actually had one of them running
NTP-server on OpenBSD).
- First you take, a certain version of the 'official' linux-kernel as
'starting-point'. (Usually, this is the latest developement kernel).
- You start your project, adding or changing that kernel.
- Once you have a 'working' project (which usually is after the the
official kernel-version has already gone up) you re-implement your changes
to the kernel, now every time to the latest developement kernels. (And
continue to work on the specific code of your project too of course)
- In a lot of case, your project can be seams as part of a bigger project.
(like the linux/decstation is actually a sub-project of linux/MIPS).
In these case, your code gets imported into the code of that project.
- If your code turns out to be good, stable and usefull enough, it gets
incorperated into the 'official' developement-kernel.
- If it makes sence to do so, your code also gets implemented into the
official 'stable' kernel-versions.
This is scenario if you are the only project working on in a certain area.
If there are several projects working on a simular feature, two things are
- The different projects merge into a single group. (Like the ports for
- In the other case, there is competition in who's code goes into the
To be complete, it should be noted that some projects that probably will
never go into the official linux-kernel as that would need a too large of
change of the kernel (like the micro-kernel linux-versions, the Real-Time
linux-version, MOSIX, ...).
Now, back to the distributions.
Unlike the kernel developement who all strive for a single point (the
official linux-kernel), there are a large number of different
linux-distributions available. This is because people use linux for a
large number of very different purposes.
Also, distributions are usually based on 'ready to run' binaries. (althou
the source in available, a lot of people (read: most of the) never
re-compile their kernel).
Quote:>> Also, special purpose distributions (like for real-time linux,
>> clusters-technology ala beowulf, linux for embedded controllers,
>> single-floopy distributions ala Linux-router project) are the
>> reason linux get used for a lost of different different purpose outside
>> the normal 'scope' of a unix-server).
> In FreeBSD you do this by running a different "make" target.
Althou I agree that somebody who want to set up (e.g.) a beowulf cluster
very probably knows sufficient of computers to do a 'make'; I guess people
still prefer a distribution that runs 'out of the box'.
('First, we'll get the thing running, then we'll look how it works (as an
application), and -after that- we'll look at the code and see how we can
change it to fit our needs).
To be clear, I started my computer-carrier on a tandy color-computer
(6809-based machine sold as 'game machine'). On that machine, I ran
'OS/9' (nothing to do with MacOS/9), a real-time OS based on unix (not
code-wize, but as enviroment).
In the years after that, I used (in that sequence) AppleII, MS-DOS, unix
(some motorola-version at school), amiga, linux, OS/2 Warp, MS-windows,
Ultrix, DEC OSF/1, and solaris,
(I am currently looking into FreeDOS as I have a old 286-based portable I
would like to use packet-radio station.
So, I am strickly 'for' or 'against' a certain OS. Most of them have their
merrits in their fields.
Cheerio! Kr. Bonne.